New Mexico Weather: 6/24/16

We did get a thunderstorm yesterday in Rio Rancho. It was well below severe limits, though we did get some lightning, thunder, wind and rain. The NWS issued several Flash Flood statements, so saith my weather radio.

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather was cool, mostly sunny, and there was a bit of a breeze off and on. The backyard weather station says the temperature is 86.9 F, the relative humidity is 36%, the relative pressure is 30.31 in Hg and steady, and the winds are 1.6 mph from the northwest.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a mostly sunny day today, with a high temperature of 95 F and a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorm. Winds will be from the west at 5-10 mph. This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 67 F, and a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms. Winds will be from the west at 5-15 mph. The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the threat of flooding due to the heavy rainfall associated with afternoon thunderstorms.

The visible satellite imagery shows quite a few scattered clouds around the state today.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows that none of the clouds are very thick, as they all have low, warm tops.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows nearly-uniform moisture over New Mexico, but notice the low pressure system over Mexico and its effects on the water vapor through Texas. It’s a neat feature, anyhow.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows another humid sounding today, with low dewpoint depressions above 550 mb and 0.91 inches of precipitable water present in the column this morning. There was 129 J/kg of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and -346 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CINH). There was no strong thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 7.0 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 9 kt, and the low-level shear was also 9 kts. Shear at all levels was largely due to directional changes.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show warm temperatures, mostly clear skies, and light, variable winds. There are no major boundaries present in the sate this morning.

The surface pressure map shows no strong pressure gradients, and the RAP shows that none are expected to develop in the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows virtually no flow aloft over the state today.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows no significant vorticity advection over the state today. This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows that there will be some strong Upward Vertical Velocities (UVV) west of the Albuquerque Metro area tonight.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows some Cold Air Advection (CAA) into the southeastern corner of the state, though the thermal gradient is not very strong.

Overall, I expect that there will be thunderstorms this afternoon, based on the ample moisture and high UVVs. However, the low shear will limit severe potential, though it may produce some slow-moving, heavy-raining, flood producers. I’ll be watching from the NWS office in Albuquerque.

Thank you for reading my forecast.

The upper air soundings and mesoscale analysis plots are from the Storm Prediction Center website.
The forecasted upper air soundings are from
The surface observation and upper level charts are from Unisys Weather.
The satellite data is from NASA – MSFC


About highplainschasing

This blog is about my tales in storm chasing. My name is Seth Price and I am an instrumentation instructor at New Mexico Tech. My amateur radio call sign is N3MRA.
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